Academic performance in Mathematics among selected high school students in Phuthaditjhaba as a function of the teacher's motivation

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Ramosunya-Helu, Lerato Jacqueline
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University of the Free State
This study seeks to investigate the academic performance in Mathematics among selected high school students in Phuthaditjhaba as a function of the teacher's motivation. This investigation was triggered by the arguments put forward by some educationists' belief that children do not have a learning problem, but it is the teachers who are having a teaching problem. For the purpose of this study, special focus was on learners doing Mathematics in Grade 11 and their teachers. It has been observed that South Africa is threatened with a shortage of Mathematics teachers and the number of Mathematics learners has decreased. It is therefore very crucial to unearth the difficulties bedeviling learning and teaching of Mathematics. The study used the following instruments to arrive at the findings - namely: A teacher's questionnaire mainly to measure their motivation or self-efficacy. All learners doing Mathematics at Grade 11 in six High schools in Phuthaditjhaba were included for stratified sampling. Males and females, learners of different ages, from different socio-economic backgrounds were included. Test scores of learners obtained from their tests and half yearly examinations written at each school. To use a more or less consistent average performance for learners, four tests were decided upon. The fact that all the sampled schools apply the system of continuous assessment meant that these average marks ultimately determine whether a learner gets promoted to the next grade or fails. No other independent test that may purport to be more objective than the ones used by the teachers of the mentioned learners were constructed. The findings of this study indicate that there is no significant relationship statistically between teacher's motivation and learner's performance and therefore the hypothesis that there is significant relationship is rejected. The results in table 4. 7 indicate that there is some correlation between teacher's motivation and learner's performance. Though the correlation coefficient is positive, the correlation is very small (r = 0.112) Although the study was conducted amongst all the African learners from historically disadvantaged schools doing Grade 11 Mathematics in Phuthaditjhaba High schools, this does not however, rule out the fact that some of the findings may in the end be applicable to learners in other provinces not being targeted at.
Dissertation (M.Ed. (Educational Psychology))--University of the Free State (Qwaqwa Campus), 2003, Academic performance -- Mathematics, Education research -- Mathematics -- Academic performance -- Phuthaditjhaba